Illustrating communication and conversation in organizational teams is easier than it seems–all you need is a ball of string. The recent Management Teaching Review article “Web-of-Communication” from authors Gary Wagenheim and Jacqueline McAdam outlines a simple group exercise for students and organizational teams to better understand communication patterns and team development.
The abstract for the paper:
The web-of-communication exercise is a fun, highly interactive experiential activity that facilitates learning about team communication patterns. A ball of string is used to visually map the communication pattern that emerges during a team conversation. The exercise helps participants learn how patterns they create reinforce or break down barriers that shape meaning and exert influence on behavior. This exercise requires only a ball of string for each team, is easy to facilitate, takes very little time, energizes participants, and provides substantial learning opportunities. The exercise works with student teams in an organizational behavior course with modules on communication, team development, power and influence, or conflict management. The exercise works well with organizational teams, too.
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